April house sales fall 31% in Las Vegas amid pandemic

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Sales of existing houses in the Las Vegas area fell more than 30% in April compared to the same month last year, while prices dipped 2.8% from March, according to a new report.

During the first full month of the economic downturn prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, just over 2,400 houses, condominiums and townhomes were sold, according to the Las Vegas Realtors trade group.

That represented a 31% drop in house sales and a 42% decline in the sale of condos and townhomes compared to April 2019.

Gov. Steve Sisolak in mid-March ordered casinos and other nonessential businesses closed statewide, prompting record unemployment claims.

Under Sisolak's order, which is now being slowly lifted, showings of homes where renters are living and open houses were prohibited.

The median sales price for a house in April was $310,000, down from an all-time high of $319,000 in March but up about 3% from April 2019, according to the report.

The median price for a condo or townhome was about $180,000, down about 3% from March but up 6% from April 2019.

"We're starting to see how this crisis is hitting our housing market," Tom Blanchard, president of Las Vegas Realtors, said in a statement. "We expected sales to decline."

The fact that home prices seem to be holding up bodes well for the market, Blanchard said.

"As we keep telling our members, we will get through this by working together," he said.

At the end of April, the sales pace in the valley equated to just over a three-month supply of available houses. A six-month supply is generally considered a balanced market, Blanchard said.

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Purchase Housing market Coronavirus Home prices Nevada